Travelers in a skiff on the ocean pass in front of white-capped Antarctica mountain

Small, Sustainable Cruises

Think outside the boat aboard small ship cruises with AdventureSmith Explorations. Cruises on small ships are the leading mode of transportation for travelers seeking intimate wildlife encounters, flexible itineraries, remote wilderness exploration and learning. These are immersive journeys, where adventurous activities meet remote waters and like-minded fellow passengers become friends. No crowds, no strict routes… time to explore.

A small ship with blue sails cruises in Indonesia

Unique Yachts & Expedition Ships

Small cruise ships go where the big ships can’t thanks to shallow drafts and flexible itineraries. Start exploring our collection of small ships that range from sailboats, catamarans, riverboats, barges and small yachts with as few as 8 guests up to 100+ passenger expedition cruise ships. Our team has vetted our ships to only bring you the best, and to keep our offerings truly small, topping out at around 250 guests aboard.

Guests aboard a small Mediterranean yacht approach a hilly shoreline with terra-cotta-roofed buildings.

Who Cruises on Small Ships?

Small ship cruisers are active and educated travelers seeking meaningful, up-close encounters with nature and culture—does this sound like you? Our Adventure Specialists are small ship cruisers too, and we translate our experience aboard ships worldwide to match you with the best experience. Our team will help you custom pick your destination, itinerary, ship and timing, or even assist you in designing your own route with a full-boat charter. No call centers here.

Start exploring

Cruise Destinations

From the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, to Europe and the polar regions, the expedition cruise destinations offered by AdventureSmith are unmatched by any other travel company. Are you ready to actively explore away from tourist crowds, without sacrificing comfort, safety or the environment? AdventureSmith is committed to sustainable tourism and dedicated to contributing positively to each destination we explore.

Small Ship Travel FAQ

Whether you are new to cruising small or a veteran seeking to just learn more, we’ve compiled our most frequently asked small ship cruise questions to inform as you explore this incredible way to travel. Look to this page to see if your question is a common one!

Reviews of Small Ship Cruises

Our collection of cruise reviews combines adventure stories, travel tales, expert insights and trip testimonials from past travelers so you can see the full picture before you book your cruise with AdventureSmith. From the icy glaciers of Antarctica to swimming with penguins in the Galapagos Islands and sailing aboard a yacht in Croatia, read our small ship cruise reviews to get a feel for the incredible travel experience of small ship cruising with AdventureSmith.

Cruise Deals

Browse our curated collection of small ship cruise deals, continually refreshed by our experts to feature the best cruise discounts, offers and sales on small ship cruises worldwide. Our team will help you plan right from the start so that you get the best discount to fit your ideal adventure cruise itinerary.

Small Luxury Cruise Ships

Small ships range from simple floating base camps to luxurious yachts. Small luxury cruise ships typically feature the finest staterooms that are often larger than other small boat tours, many with private balconies or floor-to-ceiling ocean views. These are among the best yacht cruises so expect deluxe amenities, the best itineraries, the finest cuisine, top-rated naturalist guides and superior service with high crew-to-guest ratios. View Galapagos Luxury Cruises for an example of what to expect in one of our most popular destinations.

Chartering a Small Ship

We specialize in small ship charters ranging from 8 to 200+ travelers. Learn more about chartering a yacht or small ship for your group on our charter cruises information page. Full-boat charters are great ways to save money and customize your cruise to your group’s needs.

Family Cruises

Are you ready for the ultimate family adventure, away from tourist crowds? Family cruises are ideal vacations as you only unpack once as the captain sails your entire group to the next fun activity and guides keep all ages engaged with learning. Discover more about family cruises with AdventureSmith and take your little ones on a little cruise.

Carbon-Free Cruising

Did you know that by choosing to cruise with AdventureSmith Explorations your cruise is carbon free? AdventureSmith Founder Todd Smith has been offsetting travelers’ carbon emissions since 2004 and has been a recognized leader in sustainable travel for this effort. Learn more about our carbon-free cruising program, which comes at no added cost to you.

Small Ship Cruises for 2021 & 2022

With many travelers having to reschedule their cruises due to the Coronavirus, upcoming years’ small ship cruises are booking fast and availability will likely be tight. We highly recommend travelers book early for the best small ship cruises in 2021 and 2022. Find a cruise, or learn more about what’s new and trends for 2021 small ship cruises.